Since 2001 AVO Cigars have released a limited edition cigar that is part of their Limited Edition Series. The vitola offering has changed from year to year, and the packaging has as well. As to be expected the theme is quite musical, as Avo is a world class pianist. I have enjoyed some of his limited edition smokes, but find myself smoking more a fan of his core line products when I do grab them. To be honest I would more likely grab a Davidoff if that was my option, but AVO is still a great smoke. For 2013 AVO Cigars released the Dominant 13, the 2013 limited edition, and the cigar would be released in 13 count boxes. There is a total of 9,000 boxes being produced worldwide, and the packaging is similar to a music book. The cigar is blended by Henke Kelner, and is most likely made at the Tabadom Factory in the Dominican Republic.
The cigar has a very dark Colorado wrapper, but I would not classify it as Colorado Maduro. There is some marbled coloring to the cigar, and it is a little splotchy in that sense. It is not very firm to touch, fairly soft actually, but is constructed wonderfully. There are some veins present throughout the cigar, and there is an aroma at foot of hay, cedar, tobacco and earthy qualities. It really reminds me of walking into a lumber mill in the summertime. It is a dark wrapper, and pretty to look at. The wrapper is from Ecuador and is Habano 2000, while the binder is Dominican from Yamasa. The filler is a mixture of Piloto Viso, Habano Viso, San Vincente Ligero and Corojo/Olor Ligero from the Dominican Republic. Within that filler is a small bit of tobacco from Peru that is viso, AVO classifies it as a quarter of a leaf. The cigar is your standard toro, and measures 6" with a 52 ring gauge.
The cigar begins by showing the flavor profile of the aroma. There is a lot of wood and hay notes showing up, and it is very Henke Kelner. As the cigar grows I begin to get a lot more spicy and pepper notes to the cigar, and it is meaty as well. The body on the cigar is slightly above medium, and it shows some classic Kelner flavors while having some nice twists to it as well. The strength of the cigar is at a medium level as well, and close to medium full. I would smoke this cigar in the late morning or early afternoon right now. The ash on the cigar is this lovely dark charcoal coloring, and the burn line being produced is nearly perfect. To me the cigar is not your standard AVO, and is very different than what I expected.
I am in the second third of the cigar now and the flavors are getting significantly stronger. I would say that the body of the cigar is at a medium full level, and is a level that no other AVO has taken me. There is a nice bit of pepper and coffee showing up on the forefront, and there are those core flavors of wood and hay showing up as well. There is some leather showing up on the finish, and it is pairing with those meaty qualities. I have to say the strength level is also at a near medium full level in this third, and the cigar is growing in every category. The construction on the cigar is still very solid, and I am getting a burn line that is nearly perfect and the ash is that dark charcoal gray coloring. Overall this is what I like to see in a cigar, in terms of transition, and it is a very enjoyable smoke.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and the smoke has reached that great medium full level in terms of strength and body. As a cigar smoker the most important aspect of the cigar is body and balance. I want tons of flavors, but I do not want the cigar to be unbalanced in any way possible. This cigar in the final third shows balance between the body and strength. The strength is at a medium full level, and it has been increasing from the beginning; and the body has as well. The flavors at this point are at the maximum they can be, and it is producing a great offering. There tons of coffee, leather, meaty, spicy, peppery and woody notes in this third, and it is to a degree un-AVO. The construction is great in this third, and it is producing that perfect burn line with a great charcoal colored ash. The cigar smokes cool to the nub, and is a great cigar to smoke in the afternoon or evening.
As a cigar it produced a nice flavor profile that was complex and medium full in body. The strength of the cigar also showed a medium full strength level, and it was a "powerful" AVO. When I smoke an AVO I typically expect a milder cigar in terms of strength with a lovely and complex flavor profile, but this was quite different. I found it to be one of the most powerful AVO smokes I have had, and that made it very unique. The construction on the cigar was terrific, and it produced that lovely charcoal colored ash from beginning to end. I believe that you if an AVO fan who loves their milder offerings you will not care for this, but if you smoker fuller bodied and stronger cigars you will enjoy it. Much different than I was expecting the cigar was very entertaining through and through. I give the cigar a solid 92.